About Invictus

Invictus Dragon Boat Club was founded in 2020, with the aim of promoting the sport of dragon boating to new paddlers and encourage ex-paddlers to return to the sport. Our first season saw us grow our membership to over 60 members and we achieved some great results on the water, regularly taking part in finals in both DBACT and interstate regattas.

Invictus participating in the 8km Bei Loon Challenge at Narabeen, Sydney

As a club we are committed to:

  • ensuring that all members are given the opportunity to realise their full potential, both mentally and physically, without pressure or judgement;
  • developing the crew both mentally and physically in a safe environment in which to train;
  • providing opportunities for those paddlers who have undertaken a Sweep or Coach Accreditation course to further develop their skills;
  • assisting DBACT to promote dragon boat paddling within the ACT;
  • providing opportunities to give back to our broader community by emphasising the benefits of exercise and physical fitness on health and well-being and minimise barriers to participation.

Invictus is managed by an incredible volunteer Committee who juggle busy lives, paddling and the running of our great Club. If  you need to contact any member of the Committee, simply click here.

About Dragon Boat Racing

The Dragon Boat is deeply imbedded in China’s “Dragon” Culture, with each boat having an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow and a tail in the stern. The boat is painted with scales. The paddles symbolically represent the dragon’s claws. The boats are about 12 metres long and a dragon boat team consists of 20 paddlers sitting two abreast, plus a sweep who steers the dragon boat from the rear and a drummer who sits at the front. The team of paddlers work in unison to propel the boat forwards from a standing start, the aim being to reach the finish line in the fastest time. Dragon boating is all about human power, cooperation and team work! Competitions are divided into separate categories depending on the mix of gender and age of the paddlers over a course of 200m, 500m or 2000m. Some competitions also have categories for 10 paddlers per boat.

The sport is recognised for the camaraderie, strength and endurance of participants. It's a great way to build fitness and make new friends.

Further information about dragon boating can be found on the International Dragon Boat Federation website.

Invictus competing at the 2022 Australian Dragon Boat Championships, Adelaide, SA


History of Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2500 years ago. The dragon boat festival commemorates the death of the poet Qu Yuan (pronounced "choo wan"), who drowned himself in the third century BC as a protest against a corrupt government. The legends are that the towns people attempted to rescue him by beating drums to scare fish away from eating his body and threw rice dumplings into the river to tempt the fish away from their hero. ​

Qu Yuan's sufferings had gained the sympathy of the people of Chu, and his tragic death is commemorated each year on the fifth day of the fifth moon, the day he drowned himself, when the fishermens’ attempt to save the poet is re-enacted in the form of dragon boat races. Traditionally, one paddler stands in the boat searching for Qu Yuan's body, while a drummer on board and the ferocious-looking dragon designs were added to frighten away evil water spirits.

While competition has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of folk ritual, it emerged in modern times as an international sport in Hong Kong in 1976.​

The original Chinese dragon boats are constructed from teak planks, with camphor wood ornamental heads and tails. However, most modern dragon boats, such as the ones used in Canberra, are constructed from fiberglass, with wooden benches and detachable fiberglass ornamental heads and tails.






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